Toys Are for Grown-ups

Michael Kleiss

Looking for that elusive spark of creativity, or an idea to change your life, your work or even your world?  Look no further than the toy box.  Michael Kleiss, a Clemson University School of Architecture professor, believes that the bridge between present and future can be built by the mind-freeing experience of embracing playfulness in the way we architect our worlds.  

Whether a solo struggle with a Rubik’s cube or a team of engineering students designing tomorrow’s buildings and airplanes with Lego bricks, the importance of play and toys in creativity cannot be underestimated.  Toys, quite literally can, not only spark the creative genius in us, they can also simulate scenarios to foster positive change.  Working in teams, students can use toys to learn about creativity, collaboration, team effort, memory, negotiation and language.

Professor Kleiss, trained in a myriad of fields including architecture, engineering, computer science, music, film and fine arts, is a modern Renaissance Man.  Outside his formal studies he is an avid sculptor, chef, martial arts expert, master scuba diver and pilot.